Conference encourages practical implementation of knowledge

by Tania Wannenburg
DAS Conference Jnl 4 16

DAS Conference hosted by FLOORS in Africa & WALLS&ROOFS in Africa was a huge success.

More than 200 designers, architects, specifiers and other professionals in the built environment attended the DAS Conference hosted by FLOORS in Africa and WALLS&ROOFS in Africa. Held for the first time in Midrand on 21 April at Bytes Conference Centre, this full day CPD event earned registered professionals a full CPD point.

The day’s events included presentations from nine speakers who are all authorities in their respective fields. Each speaker focused on delivering insightful, though provoking and educational topics. Jacques Laubscher, Associate Professor at the Tshwane University of Technology, kicked off the day with a presentation that highlighted how building regulations are often misunderstood and he also went on to explain the energy requirements of fenestration in South Africa.

Andrew Marsh from MarshLand 3D delivered an exciting presentation on 3D printing and the future, demonstrating how it can be used as a design and construction tool going forward. By illustrating a case study, he showed how 3D printing can half time and minimise costs by a staggering 60%. He also had a 3D printer on display and in-motion, attracting much interest from the audience. “3D printing gives you design freedom in architecture,” he added. “The use of a 3D printer separates you from the rest.”

The Construction Industry Development Board’s Rodney Mildford discussed energy performance certificates and the post-2015 national energy efficiency strategy. He also looked at what other countries are doing with regards to energy consumption reduction.

Getting practical, Werner van Antwerpen from Growthpoint highlighted that energy efficient properties result in 2.7% more growth and that while 4 Star Green Star ratings used to be the norm people are pushing the boundaries, aiming for 5 Stars as a standard nowadays. He also explained how to benchmark office buildings in terms of energy and interventions and said that some office and retail buildings are ideal for solar installations.

Mike Barker from Barker & Associates delivered a presentation about fenestration further, speaking about the need for performance-based building codes to replace the restrictive prescriptive codes in order to maximise savings and return on investment. “Design for resiliency and energy efficiency will take care of itself,” he said.

Giving insight into Rwanda’s first 6 Star Green Star rated building, Eloshan Naicker from WSP stated that sustainability is about meeting current needs without sacrificing the needs of the future.

With alternative building technologies continuing to attract a larger market share, Elsje Balzun from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research explained the performance quantification of these technologies within the different local climatic regions.

Back to solar, Henning Holm from solar heating company, Holms & Friends, spoke about how solar photovoltaic and thermal systems are part of the solution and gave some rules of thumb for judging different systems.

What influence does design have on our cities and neighbourhoods? Braam de Villiers from Earthworld Architects explained how the economic wellbeing of our cities is dependent on design, using the Tshwane/Pretoria Re-juve-a-Nation proposal as an example.

Delegates thoroughly enjoyed the speakers of the day and look forward to future events. “Good venue, acoustics and a variety of informative speakers,” says Werner Bester. “I learnt about new products and more about sustainable energy, thank-you,” says Nthabiseng Mabena. Other attendees also mentioned the relevance of the presentations and the amount of information they were able to consume in one day.

“The event was well worth it for us and we were very pleased with the level of engagement and interaction,” says Olivia Munchin from Avance Carpets.

Roxanne Mancini, editor of FLOORS in Africa would like to thank all the sponsors who made the day possible and who exhibited a vast array of construction products and had representatives from their company available to answer questions: FloorworX; a.b.e. Construction Chemicals; Avance Carpets; Tal; Technical Finishes; Dekton by Cosentino; Den Braven, RigiFoam Lambdaboard and Marley Building Systems.

The next DAS Conference will take place at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria on 2 September. It will be a half day event. More information is available on www.buildingdecor.co.za or call us on 012 347 7530 to get involved or attend.

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